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great american music hall

Freelance Whales and Shout Out Louds @ Great American

It's hard not to have a good time at The Great American Music Hall. Every single band I've ever seen there has stopped mid-show to comment on the remarkable (and well-kept) hand-detailed carpentry on the interior. That being said, the perfection sometimes stops there.

Interview: The Freelance Whales' Judah Dadone

The Freelance Whales have managed to craft one of those songs that gets in your ears and won't quit. It's called "Generator^1st Floor", and I'm not just speaking for myself. Other indie forces like the Antlers and Aislyn (a side project of Passion Pit's keyboardist Ian Hultquist) have remixed and recut the song in their own oblique homages to the original's acoustic delicacy and swelling, textural layers of banjos, Micro Korgs, tambourines and vocal harmonies.

Jump In: Talking To Midlake Before Its Great American Show

After seeing Midlake open for the Flaming Lips at Noise Pop a few years back, I would have never suspected that the way-quiet, almost lo-fi indie rockers would produce one of the finest, most ambitious albums of 2010 thus far. Yet that’s just what you have with the release of the Denton, Texas, band’s new The Courage of Others (Bella Union), a tribute to and continuation of the legacy of rusticated folk-rock forebears like early Fleetwood Mac, as well as the deep drink from the ever-yielding wellspring created by ‘60s English folk revivalists like Fairport Convention.

Sleepless Nights: SF Pays Tribute to Gram Parsons

"Sleepless Nights" was supposed to be the second track on Gram Parsons' posthumously released second album, Grievous Angel, and the album's title. But jealous of Gram's relationship with Emmylou Harris, she pulled the track, along with three others featuring Emmylou, and it wasn't released until 1976's Sleepless Nights, an album consisting mainly of covers and the three dropped Grievous Angel tracks. Eight years ago, Eric Shea tried to get in touch with the people behind the Cosmic American Music Festival at Joshua Tree, where Parsons died in 1973 of a booze/morphine overdose at the age of 26.

Cool Rules: Why? Plunges Into ‘Eskimo Snow’

Why?’s Yoni Wolf is something of a pocket indie-rock/hip-hop genius, positioned right in our East Bay backyard, hidden in plain sight. You might spy him jogging around Oakland’s Piedmont neighborhood or washing up at choice underground shows at 21 Grand. And otherwise you can catch him all over the new Why? disc, Eskimo Snow (Anticon), or live at Great American Music Hall Oct. 17 with a new five-piece lineup including Andrew Broder and Mark Erickson of the Fog.

Robert Plant at Great American Music Hall Tonight

This just in: Robert Plant will perform a song with opener Buddy Miller tonight at GAMH as part of the Boz Scaggs & the Blue Velvet Band benefit show. Tickets are NOT SOLD OUT. Proceeds will go to the Richard de Lone Special Housing Project, a nonprofit that provides state-of-the-art facilities and care for children and adults with Prader-Willi Syndrome.

Breakout Band: SF's Deerhoof at Great American Music Hall

Disregard the title of Deerhoof’s latest album, Offend Maggie (Kill Rock Stars, 2008), the Bay Area band never offends.

Rather, the up-from-the-underground foursome specializes in subverting your assumptions of what constitutes a rock-out number and what kind of unholy, Maggie-outraging roar guitars, drums, and bass can generate – all with a playful wink and friendly nod to indie’s avant-garde, as well as rock standard bearers like Radiohead, who Deerhoof toured with a while back.

Steady As It Goes: Tortoise's Latest Travels Land Them at GAMH

Tortoise will be forever linked my noggin with the dude who yelled from the audience during the Chicago ensemble’s super-heated set at Bimbo’s 365 Club around the time of Standards (Thrill Jockey, 2001).

Listen Up: Deer Tick, Ani Difranco, Fillmore Jazz Fest


It’s obvious from the very short list of featured musicians this week, the land of music remains quiet as weary artists take a break from non-stop festivals and shows on their summer tour. We expect it to kick back up and into full force in late July, but for now, here are a few must-sees this week.

Listen Up: David Byrne, Wilco and Goh Nakamura

Usually we’re eager to boast a top-notch list of artists vying for your hard earned dollars and attention span on any given night of the week. However, while there’s still something to choose from every single night, the real battle begins on Saturday, where you have various two-day events pitted against each other. Here’s the scoop.

Carbon Leaf, The Independent, 6/23: Check out the veteran indie pop stars perform their perfected stage skills on tour for their new album Nothing Rhymes With Woman, the first in almost 2 years.

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